We sat with the power-pop duo to discuss the making of their explosive new single “I Can’t Wait” and their forthcoming tour.

Charged with all-encompassing energy, “I Can’t Wait” is the ultimate exemplar of Miesha & The Spanks’ charm. Filled with a sizeable dosage of feel-good vibes peppered with a dash of teenage angst, “I Can’t Wait” delivers the gritty groove our summer playlists deserve — while still managing to maintain a thread of infectious optimism.

Speaking on the new single, Miesha explains, “‘I Can’t Wait’ is meant to be a sweet summer jam, somewhere between a fond callback to summer shenanigans and daydreaming about what’s coming up next. We’ve got some laid-back garage beats, big gang vocals and oohs, hand claps, tambourine – good vibes are all over this one.”

Offering a totally fresh feel to the typical garage-rock track, “I Can’t Wait” permeates that edge-of-your-seat excitement that summertime supplies by the bucketload — bottled up and made available all-year-round thanks to the duo’s unwaveringly punchy approach to production. To celebrate the release of the new track, we sat with Miesha and Sean to discuss the making of the project, their highlights so far and their forthcoming tour.

To stream the track and for the full interview, head below now…

How are you both? Where are we speaking to you from right now?
S: Calgary Alberta during the world-famous stampede
M: Unwinding after a week in Nunavut for another festival, but also catching up on work for the next album, so not that chill.

How did you both meet? Was it music that brought you together?
S: It was music! I’d been a frontman/guitar player for a few years in the scene. I think I mentioned I played drums once when Miesha needed a sub.
M: We’ve both been in bands in Calgary for a long time, but didn’t meet until we were both in Toronto for Canadian Music Week on the same bill playing an Alberta showcase. Then it seemed like we kept running into each other and became buds fast. Sean started filling in on shows my old drummer couldn’t make, and when she quit we were in Mexico with a bunch of friends. I proposed at the swim-up bar that he join Spanks full time and he said “yes!”, Tequila for everyone!

What was the defining moment in your life that convinced you that you needed to be a musician and specifically a rock musician?
M: I always knew I wanted to perform music – I started with musicals as a kid, then hip hop (still as a kid), then angsty pre-teen singer-songwriter stuff, and finally punk rock. When I was in high school I came into Calgary from my hometown to see Gob play, and the opening band was The Motherfucking Browns. They were wearing ski masks and black suits and while it was “punk” it was also the most real rock n roll stuff I’d ever seen.
S: In my early 20’s I slept-walked off a fourth-story balcony. I came to hours later in a hospital and to make a long story short I decided I was going to do the things I really wanted to do in life because you never know how much time you have. That’s about ten years ago and music is going better than ever.

How would you describe your first singles and in what ways are they different and/or similar to the songs you release now?
M: The really early stuff was an extension of my solo music, and I was really new at electric guitar so the songs were basically my acoustic stuff but plugged in, and very far from punk rock or rock n roll. I could’ve probably done a rebrand or re-naming somewhere in between then and now, but how we sound today is what I imagined Miesha & The Spanks being when I started. It just took a while to get here! I’ve been through a million drummers since the first EP, and my guitar playing and style is way more dialled in. That definitely starting happening more when me and Sean got together 5 years or so ago – he really challenges me as a player and a performer. But what’s always stayed the same is that I’m writing from a personal space, very close to my heart, for better or worse.
S: For me it’s that I used to be playing things that fit to Miesha’s song, but now the creation is much more collaborative. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time to put out a Spanks song and these new ones are no exception.

For your amazing upcoming single “I Can’t Wait”, did you go into the studio knowing you wanted to create a summer jam or did the song develop naturally?
M: We had the bones of “I Can’t Wait” figured out already, which included the chorus and the oohs so we definitely knew it felt like summer! In the studio with our producers Danny and Paul we tried to build on that idea, and really make it sound like the summer we’ve all been missing these last few years.
S: This song came really naturally. It was something Miesha showed me the demo for and I was like oh man there it is! I think a track that’s a feel-good summer song needs to written in the same way, and this one seemed like a joy to put together.

At what moment did you know that “I Can’t Wait” was ‘complete’. Was there a collective agreement that the song was ready to be released to the world?
M: We didn’t have a lot of time in the studio, as we were recording in Brighton between a couple of festivals in Sweden and Germany, so where we left it after tracking was definitely not complete. Danny and Paul would need to work their magic still, mixing and adding some percussion, and sending us over a few different versions. But If I’m remembering right, they nailed it with “I Can’t Wait” pretty quickly. I think that’s the beauty of such a simple song like this – if you feel it and it gets you excited, it’s good to go.

How do you hope the world reacts to “I Can’t Wait”?
M: I hope it’s a breath of fresh air, and I hope it inspires people to just go for it – whatever it is that they’re holding back from. So often I’m writing to myself as the audience, and I really wanted to get myself pumped up for an exciting return to live music and making records and all of that. Even if it gets you stoked to jump in a lake – amazing. It’s worked.
S: I hope we get to hear people yelling it back to us at our summer and fall shows. It’s such a fun song to sing and want to hear the crowd giving us that energy back.

You commented in your Webisode series a couple of years back that your single, “Mixed Blood Girls”, was partly inspired by the poets Smoki Sumac and Rain Prud’homme. In what way would you say that poetry and songs are similar and/or dissimilar?
M: I would say they’re very similar, but with songs having the advantage of being more easily shared, on the radio and online for example. If I hadn’t been in that room for that Smokii’s book release, I don’t know I would have ever heard or read Rain’s poem “Mixedblood Girls,” and then maybe I would never have felt that assurance that my own experience and story was relevant, write my song, and in turn maybe give someone else a voice or help them feel more belonging. Songs are just poetry with a hook, a riff, and an audience, in most cases.

Your singles are very personal and political most evidently in your songs “Mixed Blood Girls” and “Dig Me Out”. How was it creating these kinds of songs? Were you conscious of how the world and your fans would react to it?
M: It is really hard to write about Indigenous issues and my experience within them, which is probably why I avoided it so long. I had a lot of doubt and self-criticism along the way. Even though I was inspired by another work on the same topic by another mixed-Indigenous artist, with “Mixed Blood Girls” I still felt a dragging doubt of whether or not my experience mattered. I’m so glad I did because a lot of mixed folk reached out to me after who had similar experiences or feelings, or were even just happy to have the representation! I only had one Indigenous person react super negatively on social media, and hey I got a song for the next album out of that too. With ‘Dig Me Out’ I was more worried about the reaction of my white fans, which I have a lot of, because sometimes there can be this mentality here in Canada that “it’s over” or “it’s in the past” or even disbelief that these things really happened. But it looks to me like it had a much more positive impact than that. It is not the song that I thought would have the most radio play I’ve ever received in Canada, but the fact that radio got so behind it is amazing – to me that support shows recognition of these horrible events, and that a song like Dig Me Out can be played on commercial radio stations shows that a lot more people than I anticipated support education and change.

How do you gear yourself up to perform rock songs? Do you have a specific ritual you follow before every performance?
M: We used to have a shot of Jamieson’s before getting on stage, and in the right setting we still do, but there’s definitely a lot more stretching these days! I like to noodle the latest most difficult riffs from our newest music backstage before getting on.

What excites you most about your upcoming tour? And what can we be expecting from you next?
M: I am so excited to be performing with Bif Naked in August. All of the shows are exciting, but this was sort of last minute and the more I think about it the more excited I get. Bif is an artist I admired in high school – she performed in an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer! I truly cannot wait to meet her and share the stage. After all those summer dates we are back in the studio finishing our album!!

Lastly, talk us through a ‘normal day’ in your life? Music and non-music related.
S: I work a few days a week when we aren’t on tour so either I’m up with the sun cooking breakfast at a diner or cleaning up a construction site. But when I’m not working it’s usually songwriting in the morning with coffee. Emails after that and then all the usual chores. My projects are fixing mini bikes or refurbishing old drum kits. The day usually gets started in the evening because that’s when rehearsals start and I play in enough music projects that I generally have one every night.  
M: I wake up with one or two years olds feet in my face around 6am. If I’m lucky I can have a cup of coffee and answer some emails before they are awake and listing off dinosaur names and re-enacting different dinosaur battles. Once my twins are at daycare I can work on some music (or grants, or booking shows, or whatever). Walk my dog by the river, voice memo some song ideas, come home and try to work them out on guitar, and then get some housework done before my partner is home with the boys. Then it’s dinner, cartoons, and bedtime. We’re away so often now that it’s important to me to get in the family time, even if it’s a little less exciting compared to ten years ago. My office and practise space are in my garage so I just basically work here all day on music or the work behind the music – which is the dream, right?


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